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Master of Regional Planning (M.R.P.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, Economic Development Administration, Connecticut, Municipal Planning Practice
This study examines the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) framework as a tool for cooperative practice among Connecticut's municipal practitioners. The creation of a CEDS document is a prerequisite for municipalities wishing to access planning and public works funds of the Economic Development Administration (EDA). It is the primary means by which the EDA uniformly measures regional commitment to economic planning. With ever decreasing real funding levels and ever increasing demand, the EDA relies on its regional CEDS framework to evaluate the planning and implementation capacities of economic development organizations that cross political boundaries.
This study examines the regional CEDS process and document from the municipal perspective, the claims that a CEDS developed through an inclusive process, driven by diverse stakeholders, results in lasting implementation strategies that are in greater adherence to regional goals; and that a well constructed CEDS document fosters greater cooperation among municipal officials in regional economies. The findings are based on primary data collection, including interviews and the surveying of two Connecticut CEDS regions and one control region that has not been involved in the creation of a CEDS. I use interviews and survey results from municipal stakeholders to assess the benefits and limitations of the CEDS process to economic development practice in Connecticut.
This study finds participation in a regional CEDS is, by itself, insufficient to increase development of regional solutions. However, strong administrative leadership by various regional organizations participation in a CEDS increases inter-municipal communication and engagement in comprehensive economic development planning.
Henry C. Renski